I'm looking to set up a home studio, I already have a desk and microphones but I have no idea in what I'm looking for in monitors... I don't need the greatest monitors in the world and I have a budget of around £200. Could someone explain to me what specs I am comparing and the difference between active and passive? and any other tips would be useful!
I'm not really familiar with the UK market on monitors, but the active vs passive question is an easy one...

Active - has an internal amp and is self powered. The only thing you need to make it work is a cable from your interface to the speaker.

Passive - not self powered, requires an external power amp for it to produce any sound. For the most part, these are becoming phased out and tend to only exist in lower end, or older models of speakers, but there ARE some great higher end ones that sound great.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.

I would definitely have a quick look at the Alesis MKII's or generally any of their monitors.
They produce some awesome sounding speakers, as well as some other nifty gear!
Quote by JNBloomy
is there a different in sound quality/frequency range between active and passive?
Not inherently.

Theoretically, a power amp should have a flat response and so should the speakers, though since the world is not idea some high end active monitors have amps that try to compensate a bit for the non linearity in the speaker's frequency response, but nothing you really need to worry about with that budget.

For that money I'd have a look at some old used mackie drm8 or similar.
I've never heard them though I have liked most alesis stuff I worked with, so yeah, have a look at their monitors too maybe.

For that budget I'd look into something active, I think you have a better chance of finding a deal on something decent-to-nice used instead of buying separate stuff.
Nice power amps don't come cheap either, but the good ones can do more than powering your monitors, so yeah, for that money I'd look into relatively old, used active stuff.
Name's Luca.

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I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
Also, never under-estimate the value in treating your room with acoustic panels (ie broadband absorbers, etc.) and bass traps. (note: NOT egg cartons or mattress foam....)

I have a good pair of monitors (older passive ones), and even with those, I couldn't make a mix that would translate to save my life until I treated my room.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Equator Audio D5 studio monitors. Absolute best bang for buck in my not so humble opinion.

Listen to your recordings on an iPod, regular computer speakers and maybe in the car and you'll have a really good idea of what it's going to sound like to the average punter.

I'm only just realising I shouldn't have spent so much time researching gear and not enough time practicing the fine motor control of the fingers to really get the best tone out of my guitars.